Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
The fifth volume in the “Forging a Nation” series begins in 1791. The year a new province is created in the country that will one day be called Canada. The year Hope Cobman’s life turns around. At thirteen, she must leave the orphanage where she has lived since her mother’s death one year ago. Alone in the world, she dreams of finding her father and three brothers — all complete strangers to her, for even before her birth the American Revolution had scattered her family. Forced into becoming an indentured servant, she is little more than a slave to a lonely man and his bitter, crippled mother. Finally set free, she sets off on her own. But instead of finding a father and a brother who will take care of her, she learns that it is up to her to help them recover from the wounds of war. Along the way, she discovers her own strength. For Hope, and for all the Loyalists of Upper Canada, a brighter future lies ahead.
About the author
Jean Rae Baxterholds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.Ed. from Queen's. She has been nominated for the 2022 Governor General's History Award for Popular Media: the Pierre Berton Award.
Although she grew up in Hamilton, "down home" was Essex County, where her ancestors had settled, some as Loyalists in the 1780's following the American Revolution and some a century earlier, in the days of New France.
Jean has written six historical novels, the "Forging a Nation Series," covering the period from 1777 to 1793:
The Way Lies North (2007)
Broken Trail (2011)
Freedom Bound (2012)
The White Oneida (2014)
Hope's Journey (2015)
The Knotted Rope (2021)
With The Battle on the Ice she moves ahead to the Patriot Wars of 1837—1838. Jean's historical novels have won awards in Canada and the United States, including all three Moonbeam medals, ——Gold, Silver, Bronze?for Young Adult Historical Fiction.
She was also nominated for the 2022 Governor General's History Award for Popular Media: the Pierre Berton Award: About her series, "Forging A Nation" the committee write: "We were honoured to learn more about your work as a teacher, writer and public speaker. Your series… has done the important work of introducing young readers to the stories of the past and fostering a life—long interest in Canadian history."
She has also authored a murder mystery, Looking for Cardenio, and two short story collections, Twist of Malice and Scattered Light.•
As a teacher of creative writing Jean holds workshops on using the tools of fiction to bring family history to life.